Conservation Grant for Brazil

The first trust fund exclusively dedicated to the long term support of the Kayapó indigenous peoples in the southeastern Amazon region of Brazil has been created with at least US$8 million to provide in grants, Conservation International announced recently.

The $8 million will be spent over 5 years. Grants will be targeted at terrestrial monitoring and protection of Kayapó land, as well as the development of sustainable economic activities for the Kayapó people. The grants will help conserve an area of 10.6 million hectares, (approximately 41,000 sq. mi.) which is about 3 percent of the Amazon or approximately equal in size to the countries of Guatemala or Iceland, or the U.S. state of Ohio. This is great news!

The Kayapó territories are rich in biodiversity and are located in an area of the Amazon that is suffering from deforestation. So it’s in the heart of the territory that most urgently needs protection.

Conservation International donated $4 million of the funds, with Brazil’s National Economic and Social Development Bank donating the other $4 million.

Rainforest1“It took us almost two years to create this fund, but it was worth struggling for it as it will bring climate and biodiversity benefits, besides contributing to the well-being of the Kayapó. This is a great victory for the Kayapó and for Brazil, which is setting an example to the world when it comes to conservation of indigenous lands,” said Fabio Scarano, Americas Vice President at Conservation International.

“This fund is an opportunity for our people to learn to work and earn a living. Money must also be used to oversee the Kayapó land, the Xingu River, and the boundaries of indigenous lands,” suggested Megaron Txucarramãe, a Board Member of Conservation International and Leader of the Kayapó.

“Hopefully, this will serve as a model for similar efforts in other parts of the world. We are very proud of our role in this fund and of our partnership with the Kayapó for the last 20 years, including, among many other things, the participation of chief Megaron Txucarramãe on our Board of Directors,” commented Russell Mittermeier, Conservation International’s President.

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Alison Wheatley

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